Following an extensive beta test with distributors, Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network will officially enter the TV Everywhere world today (Sept. 8).
Showcasing simulcasts of the linear networks, the debuts of Fox News Go and Fox Business Go will be accompanied by their own set of sponsors via digital ad insertion.
Authenticated video subscribers of the cable-news leader and its business-news network can live-stream both via Web browser (a desktop landing page for both networks is available at FoxNewsGo.com) or via two newly upgraded mobile apps. Fox News is streamed by iOS and Android apps, while Fox Business is currently driven by the former.
With the mobile bows of the news and business networks, 21st Century Fox continues to broaden its TVE portfolio, which also includes Fox Sports Go, which live-streams games and other content, and FXNow, which has been showcasing The Simpsons, now airing on FXX.
Tim Carry, executive vice president of distribution of FNC and FBN, said the mobile apps have been in beta testing for the past nine months, as Fox worked out kinks and ensured availability.
Carry said Fox News Go will be available to 70 million homes through deals with 220 affiliates, including industry-leaders Comcast, DirecTV and Time Warner Cable. The tally is somewhat less for Fox Business Go, he said.
Dish Network is the major holdout at this point. “It’s an ongoing process,” he said, expressing confidence the services will soon be accessible to subscribers of the No. 2 satellite-TV provider.
Asked if distributors had to pay additional subscriber fees to proffer the services, Carry replied: “It’s part of the value of Fox News.”
Fox officials have been encouraged by usage during the beta period. Carry said Fox News Go averaged 1 million unique users per month, with average sessions lasting 45 minutes. “Other network platforms last six minutes or so,” he said. “They want to watch Fox News.”
Carry said testing occurred across a wide swath of distributors and platforms. “The technical ops at the cable providers were very gracious and helped us get the bugs out,” he said. “We wanted to make sure the sign-up process is simple and the products worked well to give viewers the feel and experience of the networks.”